Honoring Our Nation’s Finest
For some, November is synonymous with Thanksgiving. In the cluster of holidays that come at the end of each year, Thanksgiving stands out. As it should. It’s a time to spend with family and friends and give thanks for all the past year has brought. It is a time for appreciation and reflection. But let’s not allow it to overshadow another important holiday in the month of November.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we set aside time to remember those who have served our country. Veterans Day is an opportunity to thank our service members for all that they do to keep our country safe. We have faced numerous challenges over the years from all over the world, and it’s because of these brave men and women that we are still here today.
Stemming from the end of World War I, Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the armistice that brought an end to hostilities on Nov. 11, 1918. One year later on that same day, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation urging Americans on Armistice Day to “be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.” In 1926, Congress first recognized Armistice Day and in 1938, made it a national holiday in honor of those who fought in WWI. In order to encompass more veterans who fought in wars following World War I, the holiday was renamed in 1954 to what we know it as today – Veterans Day.
The times have changed greatly since the first Armistice Day was observed, but the commitment to our veterans has not. We owe a great deal to our veterans for their service. During the upcoming session, I’ll be introducing a resolution that we began working on last year, calling on Congress to pass the Bring Our Heroes Home Act. The federal legislation calls for greater transparency and declassification of P.O.W-M.I.A. records. The goal of this proposal is for every missing veteran to be accounted for.
While we cannot adequately repay our veterans for their service, I hope each of us takes time to reflect on Veterans Day and offer up some thanks for those who do so much to keep us safe. It is because of veterans that we continue to live in the land of the free and home of the brave. To all the veterans out there, thank you for service. May God bless you and the United States of America.
Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.